Ohio governor calls for special session to get Biden’s name on November ballot

Ohio election officials say Biden may miss the deadline to qualify for a spot on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday called a special session of the state legislature to ensure that President Joe Biden’s name appears on the state’s ballot after lawmakers failed to pass a bill that would move a certification deadline.

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Secretary of State Frank LaRose warned again Tuesday in a letter to Ohio Democratic Party leadership that if Biden is not certified as the party’s nominee by Aug. 7, his name will not appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, The Washington Post reported.

DeWine’s move comes after legislators were unable to pass a bill that would grant an extension for certification.

“This is simply unacceptable,” DeWine said at a news conference. “Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting president of the United States, on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply not acceptable. This is a ridiculous — this is an absurd — situation.”

DeWine, a Republican, said the legislature needs to pass a law allowing Biden to appear on the ballot, something that has been done in Ohio in past elections and was already done in Alabama and Washington for this election.

Ohio requires political parties to officially confirm presidential and vice-presidential nominees to the elections chief 90 or more days before the general election. That means that Biden and his running mate, Vice President Kamala Harris, must be certified as the Democratic candidates by Aug. 7.

While Biden has enough primary delegates to win the Democratic nomination, he is not officially certified as a candidate until he is named the party’s candidate at the Democratic National Convention.

However, the convention begins on Aug. 19, nearly two weeks after the deadline.

LaRose first warned state Democrats of the ballot deadline issue in early April.

“The conflict between the August 7, 2024 certification deadline and the date of your party’s nominating convention is well established,” LaRose, wrote in the letter to Ohio Democratic Party leadership.

“Unless your party plans to comply with the statutory deadline, I am duty-bound to instruct boards of elections to begin preparing ballots that do not include the Democratic Party’s nominees for president and vice president of the United States,” the LaRose wrote.

State officials are coming up against a hard deadline, according to WHIO. DeWine said Thursday that he spoke to LaRose earlier in the day and came away understanding that Wednesday is the last possible day for lawmakers to approve a remedy.

“My understanding is we are literally up against the wall here, that if we would go beyond Wednesday of next week, then when you do the math, you have some very, very serious, serious problems,” DeWine said.

“I’ve waited. I’ve been patient. And my patience has run out,” DeWine said.

Ohio’s special session is set to start Tuesday.

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